Bunkies & Cabins Posts

10 of the Most Picturesque Small Cabins From Around the World

Whether you’re looking for your next cabin retreat destination, or for inspiration for your own home cabin build, you’ve come to the right place. We have gathered together some of the most picturesque cabins from around the world to show you the versatile and stunning nature of the cabin structure.

From Tiny cedar cabins to alpine structures, check out these ten small rustic cabins and modern structures below.

hike in cabin

1. Hike-In Mason Cabin  (Canada)

Mason cabin sits nestled on the outskirts of Algonquin Provincial park in Ontario, Canada. This small wood cabin offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of life, as this is a hike-in location, meaning you must trek by foot to the location, carrying your supplies for your stay. With trees all around, and a small lake stretching alongside this secluded cabin, you have this swath of countryside all to yourself. 

Open all year round, you can experience the summer and winter months of Canada in this off-grid, yet modern cabin. The owners provide snowshoes and a canoe so you can take advantage of the outdoor activities while enjoying your stay. Remote, peaceful, and gorgeous, this cabin offers individuals the perfect opportunity to soak in some Canadian wilderness.

treehouse cabin

2. Vermont Tree Cabin (USA)

You can see why tiny cedar cabins are all the rage when you take a look at the Vermont tree cabin located just outside of Newport in Coventry, Vermont. This stunning wood structure sits atop wooden stilts, between two great White Pines, overlooking Walker Pond. Available for nightly rentals on AirBnB, this small cabin design has big things to offer guests. 

This rustic treehouse is surrounded by 40 acres of forest and wetlands. Go for nature walks, canoe rides, or enjoy the custom-built cedar hot tub on the deck as you survey the beautiful views, full of wildlife, all around you. The stairway winding up the interior of the structure is made out of tree branches sprouting out of the ground, adding to the overall aesthetic of the place. If you like trees, treehouses, and the wilderness, then this small cabin is the place to visit.

glass and wood cabin

3. Glass Cabin (Sweden)

This small wood cabin frame, complete with glass paneling makes it look like this structure was pulled straight out of a fairy tale. This Swedish design brings you closer to nature as the glass siding is the only thing separating you from the great outdoors and the wilderness all around the Arvika area. 

There are a number of these small rustic cabins populating a secluded and private island, so individuals can have their own space. Called 72h Cabin, these cabins were named after a study they were used in. Karolinska Institutet completed a study where five people stayed in these cabins for 72 hours while their stress levels were monitored throughout. All participants significantly reduced their stress levels by the end of the timeframe- and we can see why! 

Each structure was built using the local trees grown on the island- Norway Spruce. All cabins are off-grid and are raised off of the ground to minimize each building’s footprint. Simple yet elegant, these structures make for the most picturesque experience.

cabin home kits

4. AirBnB Nashville, Tennessee (USA)

This Nashville cabin was built using cabin home kits based on alpine structures to create a unique design. The small wood cabin lays claim to a cosy interior possessing a kitchenette outfitted with modern appliances, a lofted queen bed for cosy nights, and a garden complete with friendly chickens just waiting to say good morning. 

Nashville, Tennessee is one of the top vacation destinations in the United States, making this AirBnb the perfect place to unwind, relax, and explore the area. Located on a country estate, the property is only ten minutes from the bustling music-filled city of Nashville, so you get the best of both worlds. This cabin makes a nice change of pace from other nature oriented locations, as you get both the city and country feel together.

norway cabin

5. Skapet Mountain Lodges (Norway)

The Skapet Mountain Lodges stand atop a mountain plateau in Oanes, Norway, overlooking the Soddatjørn Mountain Lake. There are six cabin structures and one main lodge sprinkled throughout the rocky outcrop, all of which run on solar power. This cabin retreat is not for the faint of heart, as you must hike at least an hour from your car to the cabins. 

In the summertime, take advantage of the stunning outdoor showers attached to the small cabin design. The zinc-covered structures protect residents from the icy winds in winter but huge glas windows provide the perfect panoramic view of your surroundings. 

a-frame cabin

6. Tye River Cabin (USA)

There is something magical about the look of an A-frame structure poking its bright wooden body out of the white, winter ground. Tye house, named after its wet neighbor, the Tye River, calls the private cabin community of Timber Lane Village located in the heart of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, home. This small cabin design looks warm and inviting from the outside while spacious and rustic on the inside. 

Cross-country ski or snowshoe around the national park in wintertime, or opt for a summer getaway and explore the hundreds of hiking trails just outside your door. Book a few nights at this cabin retreat and bring your furry friends to explore the outdoors, as this cabin is pet friendly.

alpine structures in wales

7. Forest Lodge, Coed-y-glyn (UK)

The Forest Lodge roosts alongside a rock face overlooking the woodland area of Glyndyfrdwy and the River Dee. Located in the North of Wales, visitors to this treehouse cabin can also visit the Snowdonia National Park, and Llangollen Railway nearby, as well as the ruins of the 13-century Valle Crucis Abbey.

The Forest Lodge makes a perfect getaway for two guests, but this property also possesses three other alpine structures that can fit larger parties. Each cabin has its own private hot tub, so you can soak your bones after a long day of sightseeing ruins and hiking across beautiful Welsh terrain.

austrian chalet

8. Auszeit Chalet (Austria)

A bit on the grander side of a small wood cabin, the Auszeit Chalet resides in the quiet mountaineer village in the Austrian mountainside. Visiting this chalet will feel like you have been transported to another world as you are dropped in the middle of the untouched nature of the Hohe Tauern Nature Park.

Whether your goal is to enjoy the outdoors or appreciate some pampering at their spa, this remote chalet village offers something for everyone. The rocky mountains loom over your cabin but creates a feeling of protection and safety as the outdoors rises up to meet you each and every morning you awake in this majestic place.

eco pod cabin

9. Eco Cabin Pods (Switzerland)

In the small valley of Flims in the Swiss outdoors you will find a unique collection of wooden cabins known collectively as the POD Hotel. These pods are individually rented out to travellers, offering a sustainable alternative to outdoor tourism. 

These pods are made from local wood and are assembled throughout the wilderness of the Laax Falera area. Disconnect from technology for a few days and appreciate the secluded, quiet countryside- especially in winter. Two travellers can fit together in these small rustic cabins making them the perfect location for a couples retreat. 

snowy cabin

10. Whistler Cabin (Canada)

This small wood cabin, modern and sleek in design, perches atop a rocky bluff just outside of a quiet residential village in Whistler. This A-frame structure boasts a gorgeous and expansive view of the mountains jutting out across the valley over Green Lake. Inside the cabin, the open layout displays an exposed frame made out of local douglas fir lumber, with sleek kitchen surfaces, a minimalist design, complete with a private terrace.

Built as a weekend retreat for a family of snowboarders, the structure possesses a summer and winter equipment storage room making this mountain retreat the perfect getaway in all seasons. 

Your Next Cabin Retreat 

These tiny cedar cabins and secluded structure offer the perfect escape for travellers across the world. We know that it might be hard to get to some of these locations, so if you are looking for that next cabin retreat, why not bring the cabin to you? 

Don’t wait for your next holiday to enjoy the rustic feel of a beautiful cedar cabin. With cabin home kits and custom design structures, we at Summerwood would love to help you build your dream cabin. Consider working with Summerwood to find a cabin design you’ll fall in love with day after day.

So What Is This Thing Called A Bunkie

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If you enjoy escaping the demands of life by heading into nature, you will love the beauty and utility of a Bunkie. The innovative Bunkie is a small, yet fully functional cottage or cabin that you can place nearly anywhere. As a completely customizable building, this structure will transform your nature retreat into a place you always look forward to visiting. The Bunkie offers an immense number of unique features that turn a simple cottage space into a relaxing, comfortable home away from home.

What is a bunkie?

The term bunkie originates from the word “bunkhouses” which were built by rural farmers and ranchers to help house seasonal employees. A bunkie is a bunk house that is now typically used now for helping with the overflow of guests and family members that are visiting and need a place to sleep at the cottage or cabin. And as the name suggests, it typically houses bunk beds. However it can also be used as the perfect place for extra space at the cottage or in your backyard.

Bunkies are the perfect addition to a cottage, especially for ones that are looking to add more sleeping room for guests. In addition to providing extra space for overnight guests, our bunkies can also be used for a variety of different purposes. While the bunkie is ideally designed for use in the summer months, we have also had various requests for four-season bunkies. With an increase in individuals working from home, it is also the perfect home office that can be added to your backyard to give you some peace and quiet from the many distractions within your home.

Key Bunkie Features

The style elements and layout features that come with your Bunkie depend on the build style you select. The majority of the following key features are included in the basic layout for this iconic structure.

Personalized Exterior

Each cabin design is made from western red cedar, which often ranges from rich yellow to deep red tones. You can further personalize the look of exterior surface by applying stain or paint. Stain accentuates the natural tones and grain of the wood, while paint completely alters the color and finish. You can also add alternate design features, such as a tall porch or planter boxes, to complete your personalized exterior layout.

Customizable Interior

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-SummerwoodYou can design and furnish the interior space any way you like. You can fit bunk beds or simply go with a pull-out sofa to maximize your floor space. You may add shelves, racks and drawers all throughout the space for additional convenient storage options. You can select curtains or blinds to go over the windows or leave them bare to allow more natural light into the dwelling. The space is fully customizable to give you ample decoration options.

Loft Space

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-loft-Summerwood-3The 10×10 Glen Echo Bunkie features 100 square feet downstairs with an approximately 130 square feet loft upstairs. Due to the floor space and height increasing dormers, the loft can accommodate a large queen size bed with room to walk around. Additional shelving can go in the loft as well for storing blankets, clothes and other personal items. You can also use a fold-away ladder to access the loft space to keep the walkways through the main floor clear.

French Doors

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-Summerwood-192793-2French doors on your Bunkie allow you to remain in close proximity to nature throughout your entire trip as they open up the building. The fresh air will help keep the space feeling fresh and airy. The French doors also provide the building with a sophisticated look and feel. If you prefer, you also have the ability to replace the French doors with a single door and two screened windows.

Screened Windows

Across the rest of the Bunkie walls, you will find slide-open screened windows that let in natural light. When closed, the windows are highly insulated to keep the outdoor weather from causing unwanted temperature fluctuations inside the cabin. The screens allow you to let in fresh air without allowing mosquitos and other insects into your dwelling.

Where to place the bunkie?

Usually the bunkies do not have electricity and it is important to consider light and airflow before you start any construction on it. If you are planning to add a bunkie to your cottage or backyard, make sure to stand where you want to place it. Have a look around the site and see how the air moves around it, look around where it is going to go, as well as help to decide where you should put the windows and the doors.

You should also have a look at our 3 Smart Considerations To Keep In Mind While Choosing Your Shed Location to help with selecting the perfect location for you new bunkie. After weighing all of the above factors, you likely will have an ideal place in mind for your new bunkie.

Selecting and Building Your Bunkie

When you are ready to obtain a Bunkie to perfect your nature retreat spot, contact us at Summerwood to discuss your options. You can choose from nearly one dozen fully customizable cottage or cabin styles. Each of the style options can be delivered as a pre-assembled or pre-cut kit.

If you prefer, you can use the provided labor quote to obtain an estimate from your contractor for professional assembly at your desired location. Either way, as a building with a small footprint, many municipalities do not require that you secure a permit before erecting this structure at your chosen location. Building permits are typically only required for buildings over 100 square feet, which is far larger than a typical Bunkie layout. 

Summerwood produces high quality structures designed to increase the aesthetics, utility and value of your properties. When you are ready to proceed with this project, you can view and design your Bunkie at the Summerwood website or call 1-866-519-4634 to discuss your order. You can also inquire about the available pre-fab sheds, playhouses, pool houses and garages to complete your outdoor project needs.

Custom Design Center Call to Action

How To Choose A Cabin

Whether you enjoy alone time or spending time with others, prefer mountains or oceans, seek thrills or relaxation, there’s a cabin lifestyle for you.

 

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Start with the spot for the cabin

First consider which natural setting appeals to you and why. Is it near a riverbank, farmland, lakeshore, deeply wooded area, or the mountains or valleys? How far are you willing to venture? If you are considering entire summers away, the distance from home to cabin can be less than year-round weekend jaunts.

Does proximity to amenities matter or are you okay with being far off the beaten path? Some of us crave seclusion while others like the comfort of a community nearby.

What’s your leisurely pleasure? While cabin life can satisfy many lifestyles — artsy, sporty, foodie, crafty, romantic or relaxing — the way you want to use your space most often will help you narrow down the options of where you want to build.

Once you have an ideal location or cabin lifestyle in mind, be sure to scout the area, view open houses, or rent a similar place for a night to ensure that your romantic notions are in line with reality. While you may imagine the idea of waking up to distant sweeping views of a lake or mountain range is heavenly, you might realize you prefer to be on the water or closer to the action. Long for life amid the woods with the fresh aroma of crushed pine needles? In reality, a bright open sky may feel more uplifting long term. Much like eating foreign foods, you won’t know what you like until you try.

Remember to consider safety, zoning and permits, price and taxes, and plumbing and electrical access  just as you would consider the view, foliage, weather or temperature. All of these are equally important.

 

cheyenne

 

Picture the build and put yourself in the picture

Much like choosing the location, deciding on the size, features, layout and structural elements of your cabin come from combining the fun fantasy with the reality of cabin life.

Beyond the essentials — like water, power and waste treatment — consider the size of the cabin and position on the lot. Ensure the cabin fits the space, maximizes the outlook and orients to the sun patterns. Consider how time outside of the cabin will be spent when picking a location. Do you want a firepit, an accessible driveway, a garden or hot tub, and other add ons? Remember the big picture and how elements will flow together.

It’s also helpful to think about the number of people likely to stay, visit or be entertained in your cabin.  Are you eager to host a party or prefer enough room for yourself and your thoughts? We offer options for both camps. Loft-beds are a great way to maximize vertical space for storage or sleeping.

 

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Design the cabin for life

Style and function come together in every Summerwood cabin. How that looks is up to you.

Our cabin styles vary by unique design with distinct advantages and personalities. Explore the features that feel right for you and we will customize from there.

The classic cabin with a peaked loft and generous porch — like our Canmore Cabin — is a perennial favourite. Tremendous natural light year-round and ample space for storage defines the Kepler Creek Cabin. Feel better with basic? Check out the 10 x 10 Bala Bunkie Cabin for its compact minimalism that delivers big personality. Still uncertain? Visit our cabin favourites for inspiration and take a 3D tour through some of our popular designs.

Now for the really fun part. Consider the details to make your cabin your own. Roofing, siding, paints or stains, skylights and trims – the options are endless on our material choices list.

Regardless of design nuances, be assured Summerwood only uses the finest materials on the market. Most of our cabin kits are constructed from premium grade western red cedar while offering durable and attractive Canexel maintenance-free wood fiber siding. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed! Simply take your time and consider how these details will make this build feel like your own personal space.

 

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Construction commentary

Summerwood cabin kits are a DIY dream come true. Each cabin comes with detailed, step-by-step instructions and live help is available, only an email or toll-free phone call away. Carve the time, build the energy and organize the tools needed to complete the project. Learn more about its assembly and required tools here. Prefer help? View our how to hire a contractor package for more information.

 

bala bunkie

Summerwood is here to help

From cozy rustic to minimalist contemporary, Summerwood can help bring your vision to reality and perfect your cabin in no time. Our pre-cut designs are easy to customize. Our process takes the stress out of what can be a daunting notion: creating the cabin of your dreams. The Summerwood team is always happy to help.

Whether it’s questions about materials, sizing, styles or customizing any of our builds, no question is too small nor idea too big. We welcome you to be in touch through email or by phone here.  

Tips And Ideas: Cabins

Building a new cabin is sure to be one of the most exciting projects you’ll ever undertake. With a careful eye and thoughtful planning you can have everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

We’ve put together some of the most common areas of consideration for your review so that you’re not overlooking any important planning concerns.

If you have other questions, which we’re sure you will, just contact us at any point in the planning process!

Cabin Sites

Location pool housesLocation – the practical and the pretty. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding the perfect new spot for your prefab cabin. If it’s going to be a secondary structure, maybe you’ll want to run electricity and plumbing to your cabin for a sink, toilet, bath or shower. How close is the location to hookups? Are there any factors that may hinder your ability to run the hookups?

When it comes to cabin location, the view is likely to be one of the most important considerations. Lake location, trees, surrounding foliage (and weather) can be very different from one season to the next. Some people want to maximize sunshine (and the view), all year round and build atop of a hill. Others want shade in the afternoons at the height of summer when windows magnify the heat.

What about road access? Are you more concerned with an attractive location or one with the easiest access? Or somewhere in the middle? If your property’s large, how far from the road do you want to be? If it’s a busy road, the farther away for it, the quieter it will be, but what about parking? Is there a lot of snow in the winter and will you need to dig your way through? It may make sense to lay a parking pad while creating a foundation for your cabin (more about this below).

Once you decide on a site, choose a size that’ll suit your needs (see the next topic below), andlocation cabins here is a very useful tip: Stake out your bunkie size on the chosen site. Ensure that it fits and imagine how you’ll utilize the interior space. In particular, think about door and window placement. What’s the view? How will you get from the front door to the vehicle? Try walking there from where you’ll park.

Decisions about the size and location of your bunkie are not always in your hands. Check with your municipality to ensure that you are meeting the local zoning and building permit requirements. Since it’s not likely that you’ll be building a cabin that is under 100 sq. ft. you’ll need to have all your t’s crossed and i’s dotted. Other stipulations may include a 2 or 3 foot setback from property lines, some areas even have regulations regarding how close structures can be built near water. Check first and then check again! Inspectors will make you change things if you contravene local bylaws.

Interior Cabin Design

interior design cabinsOnce again your list of cabin uses will help determine how to design the interior. Is your space to be open concept or will you divide it into rooms with partitions to allow privacy for yourself and guests? Are you considering a loft? If so, you’ll need some extra space for a staircase.

Allow plenty of space for storage. Consider cupboards, shelves, mud room, sunroom, porches etc. See our suggestions for interiors. There are so many design options unique to Summerwood cabins, that will suit to your tastes and needs. Our cabins are available as single floor, 1 1/2 floor (lofts), and even 2 story designs. Our cabin design team are literally pros at this, so use them when designing your cabin kit. You’ll save time and ensure that you get exactly what you want. With all the sumptuous styles of cabins that we offer, you’re sure to find what you want here at Summerwood. Check out our favorites to benefit from the thinking that others have done before you. Select the style that fits your landscape and reflects your taste best. Then customize the cabin to address any functional issues and to add your own personal touch.

Consider too, how you’ll “decorate” the area around your new cabin. Shrubs, flowers and running vines entwined through a trellis create an earthy English garden feel. Or perhaps you’ll want to clear the front for a nearby fire pit. (Be sure it’s far enough away from your cabin for safety.) Would you like a path of flagstone to lead to the front door? It’s the little things that personalize and make your cabin uniquely yours.

When you’re ready, select a style from below or go straight to our Custom Design Center. Don’t forget that you can involve our design team at any stage!

Cabin Sizes

This is always a bit of a tough one. We like to tell customers that there is no wrong choice; but that is, before you build it! What we really mean is that there are no rules, except what you need for your circumstances.

cabin sizesWhat you need to consider. Clearly the key is to ensure that your space is large enough for its intended purposes, while remaining proportional to the setting. How many people do you need your cabin to sleep? Do you want a porch to sit on and watch the world go by? Is it just sleeping space or do you need to apportion other rooms to read, dine in or just pass the time with a card game when the weather’s foul? Keep all the purposes of the cabin in mind while planning its size. Are you thinking storage and sleeping space? A dual-purpose cabin doesn’t have to be big, providing you assign different uses to different spaces and incorporate some thoughtful and inventive design into your plan. Be sure to view our sample floor plans and utilize our floor plan grids. They’re a huge time-saver.

What you need to know. Remember that in most areas, structures of less than 100 sq. feet usually don’t require permits. Maxing out at about 80 sq ft of living space, our Canmore Bunkie is designed just for that. For many that may be a bit too “cozy”. It all depends on your needs. Again, check with your local municipality for permit requirements. This library of regional listings may have the local government office you should contact. Once you’ve decided on a size, it’s a good idea to test it. Place some stakes in the ground and outline the sides of your proposed cabin with a string. It sounds odd, but for most people it’s hard to get an idea of what they need until they do it. This mock space gives you the opportunity to experiment before you’ve put down any money. Adjust the stakes until you’re happy with the size and record the dimensions.

Cabin Materials

cabin materialsIt’s not uncommon for people to love their cabin more than their primary residence. They want it to last for a lifetime and pass it on to loved ones. That’s why Summerwood only uses the finest materials on the market. Most of our cabin kits are constructed from a premium grade of western red cedar. However we also offer our structures in durable and attractive Canexel maintenance-free wood fiber siding in a variety of vibrant and outdoorsy colors.

Different materials create different looks – remember that when you’re adding new structures on your property. You can have them complement one another or be a little eccentric and let them stand on their own. There’s no wrong decisions, just interesting ones! Learn more about our materials and siding choices.

Cabin Roofing

cabin materialsShingles – Available at your local hardware store and can be installed on any of our cabin kits. Whatever type you choose, be sure to follow the installation instructions closely. Please refer to the shingles section on our website to determine the quantity of shingles that you will require.

Roofing – In most applications we use 4 x 8 sheets of 7/16″ OSB sheets for sheathing. You may want to upgrade to fir plywood, or consider cedar for a more finished appearance.

Trusses & rafters – In most applications we use spruce (dimensions vary depending on size and style). Other materials such as cedar may be preferred. View detailed information on all our material choices.

See detailed information on all our material choices.

Do it yourself or Hire a Contractor?

Summerwood cabin kits are a do-it-yourselfer’s dream come true – even if you’re only dreaming about becoming a do-it-yourselfer. There’s a detailed, step-by-step set of instructions and live help that is always just an email or toll-free phone call away. Just be sure that you have the time, energy and tools to complete the project. Our cabin kits make building a cabin a project anyone can do, whether you’re handy or not. Learn more about its assembly and required tools. Or if you think you’d rather have someone build it for you, this how to hire a contractor package is very helpful.

Cabin Designs

Choose your favorite cabin style – we love them all! Remember, our buildings can be customized to your own personal requirements. They range in size from as small to as big as you want. View many of these cabin styles below in 3D.

Summerwood Cabins:

canmore cabinsCanmore Cabins – With its generous front porch and soaring loft area, it’s no wonder the Canmore is a favorite with our customers. It’s the look that says bring on the weekend!

 

Keppler creek cabinsKepler Creek Cabins – The Kepler Creek’s gently sloping roof provides a roomy open loft. The optional dormer adds charm and the extra light is welcome all year round.

 

sonoma cabinsSonoma Cabins – Sonoma cabins can rewrite family histories. Its steep gabled roof provides the owner plenty of loft space to store camping equipment or use as a sleeping area. Its modern charm is at home in any setting. So get out of the city and enjoy the lake like you’ve been dreaming about with our cabin kits.

 

breckenridgeBreckenridge Cabins – There’s a down-home simplicity to the Breckenridge that seems to instill calm. The gable roof provides much needed upper storage space. Customize the Breckenridge to suit your tastes.

 

cheyenne cabinsCheyenne Cabins – Its steep gabled roof provides the Cheyenne’s owner plenty of loft space. Its rustic charm is enhanced by the cozy porch and overhanging roof.

 

mountin brook cabinsMountain Brook Cabins – Practical and charming. The gently sloping 7:12 pitch roof offers extra space for storage or sleeping. Speaking of sleep, relax and spread out on the 4 ft deep porch!

 

Glen Echo cabinsGlen Echo Cabins – An attractive favorite for cabiners. The canopy created by the 2- or 3-foot overhang provides welcome shade on a sunny day and protection from the rain on a cloudy one.

 

bala bunkie cabinsBala Bunkie Cabins – A brand-new version of our Glen Echo style, 10 x 10 bunkie featuring a front and back dormer and an increased roof pitch. In most cases this small cabin will save you the trouble of getting a permit!

 

If you’re not sure, view our cabin favorites for inspiration. See how others in your shoes have modified Summerwood styles to make them their very own.

Cabins: For Extra Space and Privacy

Maybe you live in a rural area, or maybe you’ve just purchased or come into some land. It’s beautiful and you’re excited to show it off to friends and family. But is the place big enough to house everyone comfortably?

Often one cabin isn’t big enough for everyone to be comfortable, especially if you have a large family or love to entertain.  A second smaller guest cabin (or ‘bunkie’) helps keep families and friends close … but not too close. It can be used for various purposes – a hang out space for teens, an in-law suite, or even as a tiny home/rental income property when you aren’t using it (just like Rebecca does in “Small in Size, Big on Function: Leading the Tiny House Movement”.)

summerwood cabin with porch custom

Regardless of what you’re going to use your cabin for, there are a few things you should consider before entering into the design process. Below, we’ve got a few questions to consider before building your very own custom cabin. Let’s get those wheels turning!

Do I need to insulate?

You may need to insulate your cabin depending on what climate you live in. If it gets chilly where you live, you’re probably going to want to insulate the building so you can use it year round. If you are adding plumbing, you may also consider adding insulation to ensure your pipes don’t freeze during the colder months.

Does it need ventilation?

Yes, a cabin definitely needs ventilation. Consider that someone may not be there all the time to open a window, perhaps it’s a vacation property that you only visit on weekends or holidays. Air will get stale and can lead to rot and major air quality problems down the line – such as mold. No thanks!

Summerwood cabins come with cedar or maintenance-free vents in the gable roof, to ensure your building is always breathing in the fresh forest air!

Do I need a permit?

In most cases you will need a permit for a cabin as you’ll probably want it to be a bit larger than the average shed or pool cabana. If you’re planning on making it larger than 100 square feet, or adding plumbing, you will have to go through the permit process. Learn more about obtaining a permit, and how we can help in “Building Permits: What You Need to Know”.

A cabin this size definitely needs a permit.

A cabin this size definitely needs a permit.

Should I stain it?

Yes! You should always stain or paint a cedar sided building. Unlike a deck or a fence, which you can let grey and whether over time, when cedar is used as a siding material it should be maintained. Since the idea is to keep the elements out, you’ll want to stain the structure to ensure the wood does not warp or rot. If occasional staining just isn’t for you, consider a maintenance-free option, such as Canexel. It has a 25 year warranty and comes in a multitude of colours. Read more about weathering in “Understanding Weathering: The Effects of Rain or Shine on Your Outdoor Storage Unit”.

Paint your building whatever colour you like!

Paint your building whatever colour you like!

What about Storage?

Storage can be tricky in a small cabin space, but a loft is an ever popular solution. If you’re working with a gable roof building, it’s very easy to incorporate a loft space. If a loft is what you desire, we’ll add a floor and a ladder, and voila! A loft can be used for storage, but is also beloved by children. The little ones won’t mind sleeping in a loft space either, but you may have trouble convincing them to ever leave!

Our Ultimate Cottage Bunkie provides a loft, and an overhang without impacting your footprint.

Our Ultimate Cottage Bunkie provides a loft, and an overhang without impacting your footprint.

What goes on the roof?

Shingles are by far the most popular roof material. The options for colours and styles of shingles are truly endless. If you do choose to add a loft space as mentioned above, consider whether or not visitors will be sleeping upstairs. A tin or metal roof, although durable can create a noisy atmosphere when it rains, so it’s important to keep interior comfort in mind when choosing roof materials.

Can I include outdoor living space?

You absolutely can include this in your cabin design! After all, you’re there to enjoy the great outdoors. If you would like to add a porch to your building, keep in mind that it will count towards your overall footprint. A porch is included in this calculation as it is supported by posts. If this is a concern, perhaps our Ultimate Cottage Bunkie would be preferable. It also provides a front-porch like space, but with just an overhang. Because the structure is cantilevered, this overhand does not count towards your overall square footage. Read more in “Spring Best Seller: Permit Free Cottage Bunkie”.

summerwood custom cabin

summerwood cedar tiny home cabin

What about foundation?

Foundation is dependent on a few factors: is the ground beneath flat and level? Is there a slope? Can rock or stone be found under the ground? Is the structure near water? Our design experts are here to help determine what kind of foundation is best for your particular situation, that’s why we call ourselves custom builders! The underlay of your building can be as simple as gravel and patio stones, although this is generally more appropriate for smaller or shed-like structures. A concrete slab, or piers is more likely what you’ll need to support your cabin foundation.

Concrete piers can help get your right on the water.

Concrete piers can help get you right on the water.

A few years ago, we assisted Tracy and her husband when they bought a cottage in Muskoka, Ontario. Initially, they didn’t consider a guest cabin, and they lived comfortably in their space for quite some time. As the family grew, and new grand-kids, nieces and nephews began to visit the property, they realized they could use some more space. The need for more space for friends and family was apparent, but they didn’t have time to build something themselves.

Instead, they decided a little elbow grease was just what they needed to solve their problem. The old cabin needed some work anyway, so when they renovated it they also had a Summerwood Canmore cabin built. “Now everyone has their own space to relax and spread out. Our mothers come up a lot and feel right at home in the Canmore. The kids love it too. They play up in the loft.”

Tracy and her family had the cabin built just off the driveway, right behind the main cabin. “It’s the first thing you see when you come up the driveway.” First impressions matter, so it needed to be adorable!

You decide just how cute, or rustic your perfect custom cabin will be!

Contact Us:
Email us: design@summerwood.com
Call us toll-free: 1 866 519-4634

The Telluride Sleeping Bunkie

For those of you who love bunkies, or are just starting to learn more about them (you can do so at “So What Is This Thing Called a Bunkie”), you may already be familiar with our ever popular Glen Echo cottage style. It’s a great addition to any vacation property that adds space without going through a major renovation project. By popular demand, we’re featured the building multiple times. In “The Ultimate Bunkie Build” where we follow one family in their DYI construction from start to finish as well as in “Small in Size, Big on Function: Leading the Tiny House Movement” where one customer utilizes her building as a vacation rental and fully functional tiny home.

glen echo summerwood products custom permit free bunkie

But since we’re crazy about bunkies, it shouldn’t surprise you that we’ve got more than one style up our sleeves. In fact, any of our structures could be transformed into the ultimate cottage bunkie with endless available customizations. One such example is of our Telluride building style, which is traditionally classified as a backyard shed.

Our classic Telluride style.

Our classic Telluride shed style.

Not according to Mimi, from Madoc, Ontario. The Tellurtide style was an instant hit with her, and she wanted to enlarge it slightly and use it as a cabin in her spacious backyard. Mimi’s biggest dilemma? Avoiding the permit process (if you’d like to learn more about permits, take a look at “Building Permits: What You Need To Know”). This meant trying to keep the building under 110 ft.² (which is particular to her area) without losing too much space and functionality. Mimi liked a simple design, without too many distracting details. She opted to include a loft space above, which is a great way of increasing space, without altering the footprint. Mimi preferred the Telluride as it traditionally features less overhang than our Glen Echo style and presents a more rustic look. When you’re customizing from start to finish, even the smallest design decisions are yours to make.

The Telluride used as a sleeping cabin in Madoc, Ontario

Mimi’s Telluride used as a sleeping cabin in Madoc, Ontario

With the help of our design team, Mimi was able to achieve her goal. We helped her transform our Telluride style from shed to bunkie that Mimi now uses as a adorable sleeping cabin, right in her own backyard. Mimi loved how the structure accommodated all her needs, all while avoiding the permit process. Mimi’s favourite part? The loft of course “it adds much needed sleeping space, and dimension to the face of the building.”

In Mimi’s words, “We had a wonderful experience with Summerwood, from exploring all our dreams with Pat, to making them come true with Brandon and the whole rest of the team. We are in love with our sleeping cabin! It’s a gem in the countryside. And it fits right in.”

It’s always a pleasure to hear these kind words, especially about a bunkie! We can’t get enough.